When Dr. Morris experiments with a poisonous gas first used by the ancient Mayans in their sacrificial rites, he discovers that it produces a "death in life" state in the subject. It also has severe, irreversible side effects of advanced decomposition that can only be temporarily halted by a potent mixture of herbs and fresh human hearts. Guess who can't wait to test it on his unsuspecting lab assistant Ted? Grave-robbing, corpse desecration, murder and total madness follow. Despite the grisly title, The Mad Ghoul (1943) is a visually stylish thriller with a quintessential mad doctor performance by George Zucco and memorable roles for David Bruce as the title character and forties "Scream Queen" Evelyn Ankers.